Hanoi 1

Trip Start Dec 04, 2007
Trip End Feb 26, 2008

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Where I stayed
Royal Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, January 3, 2008

We arrived by plane and got a nice hotel near the old quarter. We stayed at the Royal Hotel. It is nice clean and well located. The streets here are teaming with cycles. We wandered around the first night, then headed to a travel agent to confirm our overnight train  to Sapa in  the mountainous north of the country. We walked around Hanoi and saw a statue of Valadimir Lenin, and Ho Chi Minh's house near the capital building. We visted Uncle Ho's nice clean and simple home on a lagoon. We also visited his tomb (closed that afternoon) We hope to find it open when we return later this week. I understand that his body is norrmally on display. He died in the late 1960's , so his body is periodically "refurbished" out of the country at Madame Thoussoud's (sp?) I hope he is back when we make one of our visit.s to Hanoi. We got to the Ho Chi Minh museum, just as it closed as well. Lots to see the next time we get here.

We saw the lake where John McCain parachuted into after being shot down during a bombing run on Hanoi. There is a monument along the lake he fell into, now fishermen paddle their tiny little boats around setting nets for fish. I have seen a lot of people over 40 years old,  who are amputees, blind, or otherwise crippled here. The people here seem more serious, amd I quess it is understandable after living under B-52 raids. It is cooler here, so people dress warmer, yet seem somewhat cooler toward us. 

Our plans include taking side trips for a few days out from Hanoi. We will first go by train to the Chinese border town of Lao Cai. Then a bus to Sapa for a few days of treking near the minority hill tribes. We will then return again to Hanoi via the train. The second side trip will be to Ninh Binh for a thee day ride through the limestone charst country. We plan to finish our Vietnnam experience with a thee day cruise on Halong Bay on a Chinese Junk. We will return to Hanoi each time so hopefully, Uncle Ho will be in town.
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